Skipper's form can inspire Vernon Carus to first victory

Wes Royle admit it has been a rather bitter-sweet start to the Northern League cricket season.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th April 2022, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:05 pm

The Vernon Carus skipper has been in sparkling form with the bat in the opening three games of the campaign.

He has hit 136 runs at an average of 45.33, including a top score of 82, but unfortunately all of Royle’s good work has come in a losing cause.

It’s certainly been a baptism of fire for Vernons who are adapting to life at the higher level after winning promotion from the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield last year.

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wes royle Fulwood and Broughton v Vernon Carus, Palace Shield cricket league Vernon Carus batter, Wes Royle

In mitigation, Vernons have had to cope so far without their professional, Sri Lankan Kasun Ekanayake, whose arrival at Factory Lane has been held up by Home Office red tape.

"I think we have come into this season with our eyes wide open,” said Royle. “I am not making excuses but it is a different style of cricket to what we have been used to in the Palace Shield and we have learned some harsh lessons with regards to bits and bobs that we can improve upon.

"I think it is about us putting a full game’s worth of cricket together. If we get that first win under our belt as soon as possible, I am confident that we can go on and turn a few heads this season.

"One of my mantras when I took over the captaincy for this season is that I wanted to lead from the front.

"I have been pleased with my start with bat in hand and hopefully that can continue.

"But it is a double edged sword because you want to be contributing towards wins but hopefully it’s a good example to the rest of the lads because we are all good enough.”

Royle is hopeful that Ekanayake will be available for this weekend’s trip to Netherfield.

It will be the first time Vernons have played a match with a recognised professional within their ranks and the skipper has noticed in the early weeks of the season just how important a paid man is.

"We have already noticed the aura that a professional brings to a team and they add to the way a team operates,” he said.

“More often than not, they are batters and bowlers – so they provide that quality in both departments.

"But for me as captain of a club which has never had a professional before, what I am looking forward to most is for Kasun to really add that professionalism to us as a group of amateur players.

"Also it will be a real confidence boost to us as a team, knowing that we will now be on a even keel with everybody else in the division.”

As well as Ekanayake’s imminent arrival to bolster the ranks, Vernons are hopeful that Lancashire star tom Bailey will play some part this season.

They have also boosted their amateur ranks with the additions of former Fleetwood and Leyland pro Adam Parker and ex-Lancashire colts star James McDonagh.

Northern League: Fulwood & Broughton v St Annes, Garstang v Chorley, Kendal v Penrith, Lancaster v Blackpool, Longridge v Leyland, Netherfield v Vernon Carus.

Palace Shield Premier Division: Barrow v Fleetwood, Croston v Euxton, Kirkham & Wesham v Eccleston, Morecambe v Thornton Cleveleys, Penwortham v Torrisholme, Preston v Great Eccleston.